Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sunny Outlook for Pikes Farm in Sagaponack


Photos (Lexi Van de Walle): Pike Farms "Save the Farm" and Fall Veggies (2008) 

Get your shopping bags and summer recipes ready -- Pike Farms on Sagg Main Street in Sagaponack will likely be OPEN FOR BUSINESS in 2009 -- after several years of teetering on the abyss due to the land being for sale. The nearly 8 acres of gorgeous farmland has been on the market and at risk of becoming just another development project.... Hamptons-style McMansions overlooking the evershrinking but "charming" potato fields of yesteryear.

I got the great news in my email box this morning when I opened the Peconic Land Trust's monthly e-newsletter. They've been instrumental in putting together a deal via a land preservation arrangement between town and county governments and the land trust. A complex task that's taken many, many months. 

I wrote about Pike Farms and the Peconic Land Trust's land preservation efforts last October in my post "Time is Running Out Save the Pike Farm Stand" (click here) so was overjoyed to find out the latest news as I'm sure many folks in Sagaponack have been sitting on the edge of their tractors waiting for the outcome of the negotiations.  

Anyhow, back to the deal. Through a three party agreement that's taken nearly two years to pull together, the Peconic Land Trust, The Town of Southampton Community Preservation Fund and Suffolk Country, are planning to buy the development rights of the 7.8 acres and preserve the acrage as farmland. The transaction will affect a sale and then the land will be leased back to the Pike family who has been leasing this fertile land and farming on it for decades (my friends over at ChowHound claim Pike's has "THE BEST" corn and tomatoes of any farmstand on the East End -- I'm bummed we moved 15 miles away and don't shop there much anymore).

In reading more about the Community Preservation Funds, I learned that this is where the 2% real estate transfer tax assessed in several East End towns goes -- to save open spaces and farmland. Glad to know when we bought our house in 2005 that our (CHOKE) hefty tax bill was going to good purposes. I'm proud to pay taxes including the hefty ones we paid to the Town of Southampton when we bought our house. I'm proud to say I had a hand in SAVING PIKE FARMS!!! 

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